Almost everyone has a complaint about the NBA’s schedule whenever it comes out. These issues can range from something simple, like the Christmas Day slate, or something more major, such as the number of back-to-backs a team is playing. But Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has zero qualms with the 2018-19 slate. In fact, he offered decided praise to the makers of the schedule for their constant commitment to improving it.
“I like that too. Remember two years ago, we were No. 1 in the league in terms of miles traveled? I believe this schedule has us right in the middle at like 15th, which, given that we’re in the Western Conference, I mean, I would guess that all the Western Conference teams are in the Top 15 just on basic geometry. So I think the league has done a really good job of listening to teams doing things like you just said, playing a couple games in a city and staying there instead of playing hopscotch all over the place.”
Kerr’s sentiments ring more than true. The NBA has done a fantastic job enhancing a team’s ability to maximize its rest and minimize its travel. Back-to-backs continue to be at an all-time low—the Warriors went from 14 last year to 13 for this upcoming season—and they’ve limited the amount of times teams have to fly across country by looping games together.
Teams will still complain about the back-to-backs and general travel and the rules against resting players on a whim, because duh. But short of the NBA cutting the regular season to 66 games or less, there’s not much else they can do. That’s an issue for a different day. For now, Kerr is correct: The schedule-makers deserve credit for making the most of every workaround they have at their current disposal.